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A Stable Political System can be achieved using Fractal Thinking
A Stable Political System Can Be Archived Using Fractal Thinking Table of Contents Quotes Introduction Information Management History of Information Technologies. 8 The Mathematical Theory of Communication. 11 The Domestication of the Electron. 12 Using the Electron as Information. 13 Using the Electron as a Computer 13 Social Networking. 15 The Beginning. 15 Facebook. 16 […]

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April 25, 2020

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A Stable Political System Can Be Archived Using Fractal Thinking

Table of Contents


The peculiar character of the problem of a rational economic order is determined precisely by the fact that the knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use never exists in concentrated or integrated form but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess. …. Or, to put it briefly, it is a problem of the utilization of knowledge which is not given to anyone in its totality.  – F. A. Hayek (Hayek, 1945)  – (This is known as “The knowledge Problem.”)

“According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”
— Leon C. Megginson, Civilisation Past and Present, 1963

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.” ― Niccolò Machiavelli – The Prince

“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion … draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises … in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.” –Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620



This lesson provides insight into the age-old question: How can we improve our “political” systems?.”

This Lesson suggests our current political system is evolving using three major innovations of the 21st Century, Social Networking, Collective Intelligence, and Fractal Thinking.

Information Management


The @lantis School of Communication teaches that the goal is to make better decisions.  And it teaches that better decisions comes from better information.  And better information comes from better communication.

There are a lot of lessons and multiple classes on these subjects.

History of Information Technologies

In an iBook I wrote, “The 5 Ages of Information,” I break information into 5 distinct ages.

5 Ages of Information


In the iBook I lay out a timeline for the changes.  It is critical to note the acceleration of changes over history.  The first stage, Storytelling, stood alone for hundreds of thousands of years.  Cave paintings joined Storytelling for forty thousand years.  Writing was around for only a couple of thousand years, before the printing press was invented.  The printing press was only around 400 years before we invented the Internet.[5]



Looking at the figure above you can see the 5 Ages are:


  1. Storytelling
  2. Cave Paintings
  3. Writing
  4. Printing Press
  5. Internet


In order to evaluate each Information age, I’ve come up with a set of Criteria to distinguish the different ages.  The criteria are:

  • Does the Information persist over time?
  • Is the Information Mobile?
  • How much information can be transmitted over a period of time (Bandwidth)?
  • Is the information exactly duplicatable?
  • How many publishers are there?
  • Who controls the Information the government, the Church, or the individual?


  1. Storytelling – This was the way information passes between people and between generations. Besides the obvious problems, this form of information technology favored those with great memories.  This period of time lasted most of history.A key factor that distinguishes Storytelling from other information ages is that it is “non-mediated.”[6]  That is the information passing between the communicators is not sent through a “technology.”  It is face-to-face.
  2. Cave Paintings – Cave Paintings are painted drawings on cave walls or ceilings done 40,000 or so years ago in both Asia and Europe.
  3. Phonic Alphabet – Most early writing systems begin with small images used as words, literally depicting the thing in question. These are called “pictograms.”Then, around 1500 BC we figured out that an alphabet worked orders of magnitude better.  Using a phonic alphabet allowed a communicator to provide information about anything, physical and or Conceptual. (Sass 2005).
  4. The Printing Press – While printing presses were around for a while, it was the development of metal alloys that allowed for “moveable type” that changed the world.A good book on this topic is Elizabeth L. Eisenstein’s book, “The Printing Press as an Agent of Change.” (Eisenstein, 1997)
  5. The Internet – Begun in the middle 1800’s, the domestication of the electron was the latest impactful innovation.



 Persist Over TimeMobileBandwidthDuplicatablePublishersControl
Cave PaintingsYesNoLowNoLimitedIndividual
WritingYesYesLowNoLimitedGovernment or Church
Printing PressYesYesMediumYesLimitedIn beginning the Government or Church. 18th Century Publishers gained more control
InternetYesYesVery HighYesUnlimitedIndividuals




The Mathematical Theory of Communication


In 1949, a brilliant theorist named Claude Shannon wrote his groundbreaking work, “The Mathematical Theory of Communication (Shannon & Weaver, 1949)

In his theory, Shannon built on the work of Charles Babbage and others to suggest that information can be measured by “the logarithm of the number of possible choices.” (Shannon Weaver, 1949, Page 8)

This work brought us three major ideas.

  1. Three levels of Communication Problems
    Level A – How accurately can the information be transmitted – The Technical Problem
    Level B – How precisely does the information convey the desired meaning – The Semantic Problem
    Level C – How effectively does the information influence behavior in the desired way – The Effectiveness Problem.
  2. Standard Model of Information Communication
  3. The idea that information relates not so much to what the information does say, rather to what the information could say.
    If there only 2 answers to a question, A or B. Then an answer of A would have 100% value.  Because if you know A is the answer, then you know B is not the answer.
    However, if there are more than 2 answers to a question, then an answer of A has less value.

The Domestication of the Electron

As I said earlier there were 5 information ages.  The change from one age to the other was facilitated by a specific technological advance.

The change from Storytelling to Cave paintings was the result of the invention of “paints.”

The change from Cave Paintings to writing was the invention of a phonic alphabet.[7]

The change from Writing to the printing press was the invention of metal alloys that could be molded into letters that could standup to repeated use.

And the change from the printing press to the Internet is a direct result of the ability to store and use “electrons” to perform work.  I call this “the domestication of the Electron.”

Two major innovations resulting from our learning to harness the electron are the “electric motor” and the “electric light.”  Both of these harnessed the electron to perform actual work.[8]


Using the Electron as Information

While both the electric motor and electric light were important, the more interesting use of the electron is its ability to transmit information.[9]  One of the first uses of the electron as an information tool is Morse Code.  We then got the phone, Radio, TV.  And we see the results of our domestication of the electron in the Internet.


Using the Electron as a Computer

The first programmable machine is credited to Joseph Jacquard in the early 1800’s.  He invented a loom that used punched wooden cards to weave complex designs.[10]

The next leap forward was from Charles Baddage.  In 1822 he came up with the idea of a steam-driven calculating machine.

It would take a century for the next step forward.  Alan Turing was able to figure out how we could use our ability to control electrons to do computing work. (Turing, 1937).







Social Networking

Humans were born to connect.  And humans have practiced social networking from the beginning.  Families, armies, companies, unions or churches are all examples of social networks.

In the beginning there was only one kind of social networking, face-to-face.  When we invented writing we could enhance our social networking by mitigated it through a medium – clay tablets, parchment, or paper.  The problem with this kind of medium is that it is slow and had limited bandwidth.

The domestication of the electron changed the way we social network dramatically. Now our social networking can happen at the speed of light and we have a lot of bandwidth to play with.


The Beginning

BBS (Bulletin Board System), Prodigy, AOL, CompuServe, Friendster, & MySpace were some of the original Social Networks.



Facebook today is one of the largest social networks. This research will rely heavily on Facebook as a way to connect with the community.



On a small budget of less than $1 million and only a handful of paid staff, Wikipedia has become one of the best examples of “Collective Intelligence.”

Wikipedia works by asking thousands of volunteers to edit an “online reference library.”  And while Wikipedia has its problems, what exists works well enough to be useful.



Linkedin is another social network that will figure heavily into this research.



YouTube will also figure heavily into this research.

Collective Intelligence

Before I begin to talk about Collective Intelligence, let me describe intelligence as – the practical application of observation, analysis, memory, creativity, judgement and wisdom.[11]

Recent innovations have given us a lot more tools to increase our observations, analysis, and memory.  Thus increasing our ability to add new knowledge to the community.

One particular study of digital social innovation in Europe, has shown how digital networking can offer the potential to connect people so they can share knowledge. (Mulgan, 2018)[12].

What I am looking at is using this ability for collective intelligence to solve practical “political” problems by helping people share, collaborate and interact as social communities.

Typical applications of social networking today include: blogs, wikis, social networking Web sites and metadata tools for organizing information.

Previous research has shown by offering new types of social interaction and collaboration, a variety of market behaviors, business strategy and organization, educational practices and modes of cultural expression have evolved.

” Although the value that is created tends to be social in origin, it has far-reaching economic implications for business and nations. Online communities are often rich sources of innovative ideas, specialized knowledge, timely and sophisticated market intelligence and niche consumer demand. Moreover, because this decentralized value-creation is occurring online – and therefore is widely available — it is capable of diffusing rapidly and disrupting entrenched institutions and societal practices.” (Boiller, 2007)

Collective Intelligence has been used successfully in financial markets, wikis and search engines, and optical scanners.  This research is designed to measure its influrences on our political systems.

This research adds our political systems to this list.


“Fractals” is the most recent innovation brought on by the domestication of the Electron.

It is a natural evolution of the path humans have been taking from the beginning of time.

A fractal is a never-ending pattern that repeats itself at different scales. This property is called “Self-Similarity.”

An interesting aspect of fractals is that they are the same at any scale.  You can zoom in and find the same shapes forever.

Surprisingly fractals are very easy to make. A fractal is simply an iteration of the same process again and again.  For example Z=Z2 + C iterated millions of times would be a fractal equation.


Natural Fractals – Branching

There are many examples of natural fractals.

Look around you and you’ll see the tiny branching of our blood vessels and neurons to the branching of trees, lightning bolts, and river networks. These are all fractals.

Independent of scale, what you see is simply a repeating branching process.



Geometric Fractals

Geometric fractals are constructed by repeating a simple process.

The Sierpinski Triangle is made by repeatedly removing the middle triangle from the prior generation.




Algebraic Fractals

Fractals can also be built by repeatedly calculating a simple equation over and over. Algebraic fractals were discovered until the computer made it possible to perform millions of iterations of the same formula.  The best know Algebraic Fractal is the Mandelbrot Set.  The Mandelbrot Set uses the equation Z=Z2 +C.


Cognitive Systems


No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. — Mark Twain

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Epictetu



In order to maximize information in political systems, we have to fully understand how our brains process information.

Fortunately, the domestication of the electron gave us tools to better understand how we think and how it affects our political systems.


Selective Perception, Confirmation Bias, and Motivated Reasoning


Selective perception, confirmation bias, and motivated reasoning are natural cognitive processes.  Unfortunately, they are the cognitive processes that hinder one’s ability to make good decisions.

The use of Fractal Thinking and Collective intelligence are intended to help community overcome these barriers to effective public policy.


The Political Brian

“The central thesis of the book is that the vision of mind that has captured the imagination of philosophers, cognitive scientists, economists, and political scientists since the eighteenth century—a dispassionate mind that makes decisions by weighing the evidence and reasoning to the most valid conclusions—bears no relation to how the mind and brain actually work.” – Drew Weston (Weston, 2007)


In 2007 Drew Weston, Emory University Professor, hooked up a bunch of folks to an fMRI and asked them political questions.   The results of that effort was his book, “The Political Brain.”

Essentially, he found that our political beliefs are a product of unconscious “confirmation bias”

We’ve known about confirmation bias for a long time.  Here is a quote from the 1600’s from Francis Bacon.

“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion … draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises … in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.” –Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620


Plato and Aristotle also noted how hard it is to change someone’s mind.

Now we some evidence as to why it is hard to change our mind.  Weston’s work using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) showed how the part of the brain most associated with reasoning–the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex–was quiet when we consider political messages.

Weston reported, “Our brain is most active in the orbital frontal cortex, which is involved in the processing of emotions; the anterior cingulate, which is associated with conflict resolution; the posterior cingulate, which is concerned with making judgments about moral accountability; and–once subjects had arrived at a conclusion that made them emotionally comfortable–the ventral striatum, which is related to reward and pleasure.” (Weston, 2007)

Weston reported that “We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning,” … “What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up, including circuits hypothesized to be involved in regulating emotion, and circuits known to be involved in resolving conflicts.”

Weston further reported, “Interestingly, neural circuits engaged in rewarding selective behaviors were activated.  Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones,” (Weston, 2007)

The question becomes what can we do about this?  Science uses the “Scientific Method” where ideas are put through a process to help mitigate the negative affects of Confirmation bias.

One of the key elements of the Scientific Method is that information is “vetted.”  As such this research will provide a way to “vet” information.  (Much more on this to follow.)





Political Systems

History of Political Thought

The history of Political thought is the history of power.  Who has it, and who wants it.

“politics is who gets what, when and how.” – Laswell 1936


Any discussion of politics is going to have to discuss power.


From a high-level standpoint


Hunter-Gatherer/Storytelling Age


The Storytelling age is mostly the age of hunter-gatherers.  And continued until 10,000 years ago when we started to domesticate plants and animals.

In a hunter-gatherer community power was centered around the strongest man.  If a child or sibling wished to challenge the dominant male, they only two choices – Fight or Flight.  They either physically challenged the dominant male, or they left to form their own community.  Additionally, division of labor was fairly easy; women gave birth, children gathered, and men hunted.[13]

This worked great for millennium.  I think we lived this way for 400,000 years.  At 20 years a generation, that means 20,000 generations lived this way.  20,000 generations know how political power was distributed and how it worked,\.

This changed when we learned to domesticate plants and animals.  Now communities established themselves on a physical site.  And, as the benefits of our domestication efforts grew, our communities grew.  From small tribes of related individuals into complex multi-family multi-generational communities.

Defending that physical site, or acquiring new sites, became the goal of the community.  Because communities were becoming more complex division of labor became even more important.  The community needed farmers and butchers.  They needed builders and they needed skills in water management.

Power in this age, remained physical power.  But we begin to see the notion of power being about organizational skills.  Not only did the dominate male need to be physically strong, now they needed to organize an army to help them project that strength.


The Writing Age

In his book “Why Politics Matter” Kevin Dooley and Joseph Pattern make the statement,

“Ancient political thought and political science itself sprang from an ancient philosophical debate about whether our universe behaves in a purposeful and systematic manner, or whether our universe instead is in a state of perpetual random change, devoid of any purpose or meaning.” (Dooley & Patten, 2015, page 24)[14]


There were three main reasons for those in power to believe in a clockwork universe.  First everything seemed to be ordered.  Summer followed winter, children followed intercourse, day followed night, and the stars seemed to move in orderly patterns.  Everything around them “seemed” to be orderly.  So, it made sense to believe there was an order to the universe; that it was not random.

The second reason that a clockwork universe was so easily accepted by those in power, it justified their power.  The universe is ordered, and the universe ordered them to be in power.  They easily believed the way things are, with them in power, is the way it should be.

The Third reason the clockwork universe made sense to those in power is it provided everyone in the community a common focus and purpose.  As long as everyone agreed on the order of the universe, then everyone could work together building a healthy thriving community on that order.


Writing as a way to achieve order

Writing then became a great way to order the community.  Before writing the order in the universe had to described verbally.  So, information was limited to what someone could remember.

With writing, remembering become less important.[15]  The powerful could dictate their orders, someone would write them down, and someone else would pass them around.

Texts like the Bible that would be used as a guide to this Clockwork universe.


Writing as a way to expose chaos.

As I said, writing was a way to achieve order.  An unintended consequence, however, was that it exposed the disorder, chaos, and randomness of the universe.   Being able to write things down meant that the small imperfections of the universe were exposed.


Writing as Power

Plato and Aristotle were some of the first authors in the Age of writing.  They spent a lot time thinking about politics and power.

I wish to spend more time discussing how writing is power.


The Printing Press Age

The printing press was a huge innovation in information.

Before the printing press there were few books and all those books were hand copied.[16]  This meant that one could never be sure if what they were reading was the original intent of the author.

The Printing press is said to have started the Protenant Reformation.  Individuals could read the bible directly without the filter of the Church.

An important consequence of the printing press was the raise of literacy in the community.

The best example I can think of for the affect the printing press had on politics is the American revolution.  Ben Franklin owned printing presses.  Hamilton founded the New York Post.  And of course, the pamphlets authored by Thomas Paine were a huge influence in the formation of the US.


Political power changed as a result of the Printing Press.  This is most evidenced by the US Constitution.  The first amendment to Constitution says we need freedom of speech and a free press.

This was a huge power shift in politics.  Before the printing press the powerful controlled all information.  After the printing press, those in power were willing to give up the control of information to the community.

They didn’t give up power, but they acknowledge information can come bottom-up.



The Electronic/Internet Age


Social Networking is the new town hall.  Facebook and other social media platforms are giving voice to a whole new

I need to spend more time on this subject.





Influences of Information Technology on Political thought

I think it can be shown a direct relationship between the specific information age and the dominate thinking at the time.

The first major change, writing, brought about the age of reason and monotheism[17].  The most notable authors here are Plato and Aristotle, but this age includes the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Hebrew Torah, and the Christian Bible.

Then the printing press brought on the “Age of Enlightenment.”  With the publication and widespread distribution of writers like Adam Smith and Thomas Hobbes, capitalism and democracy become fashionable.

Finally, the Internet and the invention of the electronic computer ushered in a new way of thinking called Fractals (Fletcher, 2017).


Fractal Politics


The evolution of digital technologies and the evolution of contemporary society and politics have facilitated fractal thinking being applied to political thinking.

It is fairly obvious that technology innovations can facilitate cultural and political innovations, which in-turn facilitate technology innovations.

This is the ever-present reminder that technology is both a product of the society that produces it and a key agent for its change.

The volume, velocity and variety of information in our Internet age has now accelerated processes that the pace of social change is now clearly evident within the span of a single generation rather than between generations.  This is critical to understand.  Remember back when I was talking about the Mandelbrot Set.  I said that it only discovered because a computer was able to run millions of iterations in minutes.

This means the speed of innovation is increasing.  In the past, changes took generations.  Today we can have multiple changing within a generation.  And like a virus, these changes can multiply in a logarithmic way.[18]


Collective Shared Memory


A key reason for this acceleration is the increase in our collective shared memory, both in terms of quantity of events remembered and the length of time an event is remembered.  (Go back to my discussion on writing as the first step in increasing our collective Shared Memory.)



Fake News


With the popularization of the use of digital technology, there are more sources of news.

Today everyone with a cellphone can be a reporter.

In my discussion on the 5 Information ages I mention that one of the criteria I use is “who controls the information.”  In the days of writing, because there were so few literate members of the community, the powers that be in the community could easily control what was distributed.

The printing press was the first nail in that coffin.  Anyone with the money could buy a printing press.  The powers that be couldn’t control the “press.”

The surrender to this reality was the US Constitution that ordered the Powers that be to lay off the Press.[19]  They, the founding fathers, particularly Madison[20] and Franklin, understood the power of information.  And they believed the more the better.  They were not wrong.

The digital age created the ability for everyone to a publisher and publish whatever they wish.

There are still filtering agencies.  In the printing press ages a community might have a couple of newspapers and a couple of Church publishers as the source of information.  The information coming from those sources would have been heavily controlled by the powers that be.

Today control has shifted into the hands of technology companies – who primarily function as advertising companies.  Control has become subtler and is now noticeably less mediated.  The movement of control away from traditional media and the significant mediating influence that it once provided has resulted in the persistence of political extremes and the loss of any stabilizing political paradigms.

The traditional media’s loss of authority in the face of social media channels has also had the effect of giving equal weight to “alternative facts,” “fake news,” parody and viral content as much as journalistically curated news.

The certainty once offered through comparison with historical actions has now been lost amongst the variety, velocity, and volume of more recent data that are all simultaneously and immediately accessible.

The result is a nearly infinite potential combination of information that can be brought together to service any position in any argument.

By the early 20th Century, formal politics was shaped by the certainty of bipartisan party politics in advanced economies where it had become standard.

Irrespective of any association with a party, all political activities came to be defined through a binary with alternatives merely representing extremes of two dominant options. Politics and political opinion were contextual – international, national or local – labeled as being left or right.

Political parties were either in power, the opposition or irrelevant.




Self-similarity and the mimetic politics of Self-similarity, the underlying principle guiding all fractal mathematics, describes the repetition of a sequence or pattern at all levels of observation.

In this branch of mathematics, the goal is to discover these complex patterns.  Fractal politics, as an integral aspect of the prevailing social system and in contrast to mathematics, reflects the sociological sensibility that people seek out self-similarity in the form of opinions and worldviews that align with their own identity.

Self-similarity is found at many levels of connection including all forms of (social) media consumption as well as wider combinations of shared and preferred preferences. These are connections that previously would have been mediated through locality, the shared reception of editorial opinion or prior face-to-face associations.

Digital, and particularly social media, technologies enable self-similarity to be sought out on a global scale without any prior introductions or context.


The Challenging Echo Chamber


Many commentators refer to an “echo chamber” effect to describe the extreme consequences for this desire for association.

These are the extremes left unmediated without political paradgims.  The need for self association can be regarded as the cause for the current state of political opinion.

Political association has always been based on notions of self-similarity. What has changed is the much finer degree of granularity that is possible with digital technology.


Politics for the Powerful


The new politics brought by digital technology does not necessarily represent the realization of “people power” or participatory democracy.

The manipulation of the event and its use to reflect power back towards the powerful is well understood.

It is a tactic still deployed by the powerful including political parties and large companies.

What is still underestimated is the equality of the social media stream and the bifurcations of personal social media oscillations that it produces.  This sense (and possibly illusion) of choice may never be precisely knowable but neither is it completely random or impenetrable.

The volume, velocity and variety of data that digital technology creates will be where insight is found.

Data-driven politics through its closest examination will reveal the patterns and the logic that will explain (at least) the results of the biggest formal and public political events.

Politics is possible with digital technology, but we are yet to fully completely understand how it now functions in a data-driven, information-rich world.

This is what this research hopes to accomplish.




Bollier, David, THE RISE OF COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE Decentralized Co-Creation of Value as a New Paradigm of Commerce and Culture, A Report of the Sixteenth Annual Aspen Institute Roundtable on Information Technology, The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program Charles M. Firestone Executive Director Washington, D.C. 2007


Dooley, Kevin L., Patten, Joseph N. Why Politics Matters: An introduction to Political Science, Cengage Learning, Stamford, Ct., 2015


Eisenstein, Elizabeth l., The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early-Modern Europe. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997


Fletcher, Gordon. (2017) The Rise of Fractal Politics, University of Salford Manchester,


Grimes, Shaunta, (2019) It is not the Strongest that Survives,


Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1469-1527. The prince. Harmondsworth, England. ; …


Mulgan, G. Artificial intelligence and collective intelligence: the emergence of a new field.AI & Soc 33, 631–632 (2018).


Sass, B. (2005) The Alphabet at the Turn of the Millennium, The West Semitic Alphabet ca. 1150-850 BC – The Antiquity of the Arabian, Greek and Phrygian Alphabets, Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University.


Shannon, Claude, & Weaver, Warren. (1949) The Mathematical Theory of Communication, University of Illinois.


Turing, A.M., 1936–7, “On Computable Numbers, With an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem”, Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, s2-42: 230–265; correction ibid., s2-43: 544–546 (1937). doi:10.1112/plms/s2-42.1.230 and doi:10.1112/plms/s2-43.6.544


Weston, Drew, The Political Brain, Public Affairs, 2007, New York, New York,

[1] “Stable Political System” and “Fractal Thinking” are fully explained in the research (I hope)

[2] Social Networking is the Network, Collective Intelligence is the Processing, and Fractal Thinking is the algorithm.

[3] The Liberal Libertarian Party

[4] Using standard Facebook Insights and Google Analytics

[5] I guess because the time is getting shorter with each age, it means the next Information age will happen very soon.  Or perhaps we have reached the pinnacle of information.

[6] Non-Mediated information is face-to-face communication.  Mediated information transits a technology between the sender and receiver.

[7] Additionally, the invention of using “phonic letters” to represent the we talk, as opposed to “pictographs” as also an major innovation that led to the massive acceptance of writing as a way to pass information around.

[8] This would be the same as domesticating a Ox or Horse so they could pull a wagon.

[9] We can use the electron as information because we learned to measure which way it is spinning.  And since it can only be spinning in one of two directions each electron can have a binary value of 0 or 1.

[10] It is funny to see how similar early electronic cards were to Jacquard’s cards.

[11] This is my definition.  Nothing to attribute.

[12] Mulgan also points to examples in Europe where “initiatives using digital platforms to mobilize large groups of people and their knowledge to address challenges in all areas of society.”

[13] Any skills developed were lost when the individual died because it was difficult to pass on skills with no writing.  Often the skills would be wrapped into a story and then that story shared with the next generation.  But, it was limited to what people remember, and storytelling is a horrible way to information because it could change at every telling.

[14] This debate is one of the drivers of this research project and I will address it in more detail latter.

[15] Memory is even less important today.  Take spelling example.  In the old days, you had to remember how to spell words.  Today, however, because of “spell check” I don’t even try to remember how to spell something.  Phone numbers are the same.  In the old days I had to remember phone numbers.  Today I remember none.

[16] If you do the math, one person might copy a book a week.  Whereas a printing press could do a book, or more, in a day.  Before where libraries might have hundreds of books, libraries could have thousands.

[17] The age of reason is often equated to the age of enlightenment.  I change that.  I look to the bible as a great example of how writing changed the way to think about the world.  I need to do more on this in future papers.

[18] This goes back to my discussion of Claude Shannon’s comment about information ” the logarithm of the number of possible choices.”

[19] 1st Amendment to the US Constitution.

[20] Federalist Paper #10